South Charlotte

2 Charlotte residents chosen as UNC Phillips Ambassadors

John Farmer and Raymond Stanton, both of Charlotte, have been selected as UNC Phillips Ambassadors.

They each will receive a $5,000 grant for UNC Chapel Hill-approved study in Asia, according to a press release.

The Phillips Ambassadors program, founded by UNC alum Earn N. “Phil” Phillips Jr. in 2007, has sent 228 undergraduates to Asia, according to a press release. After their term abroad, the students share their experiences with the UNC community.

Farmer, 20, a junior at UNC, will study through the Kenan-Flagler Business School: National University of Singapore program. Farmer is majoring in business administration at UNC.

Farmer said he chose Singapore for its central location in Asia.

Stanton, 21, an environmental science major at UNC, will study abroad at the UNC Institute for Environment in Bangkok. He will study energy and environment.

Stanton said he plans to research a topic related to Thailand’s petroleum dependence.

“There is a lot of incentive to push the boundaries for technology where they can afford it,” he said.

Phillips Ambassadors are expected to explore the area and publish an article on their studies in Asia in a campus or hometown publication afterward.

Ambassadors are selected twice a year based on academic achievement, communication skills, campus and community service, and leadership, according to a press release. Farmer and Stanton were among nine UNC students chosen.

Teen moms grant

Angela Gillis of Charlotte knows the struggle of being a teen parent.

On Nov. 15, Gillis accepted a $2,250 grant from Royal Neighbors of America to continue her efforts assisting other teen mothers. Royal Neighbors of America is a women-led life insurance organization in Rock Island, Ill.

Gillis, who became a mother at age 15, said after seeing a struggling pregnant woman in Charlotte, she realized she wanted to help women who are going through what she did.

So eight years ago Gillis founded Angel House Maternity Home, a Charlotte home for pregnant, homeless adolescent and adult women.

“We give them everything they need to be productive and self-sufficient,” she said.

Gillis said the grant money will help repair the floors in the house and ensure it remains a comfortable place for residents.

“While they are there, we want them to feel at home,” Gillis said. “It was an honor to get the grant.”

Angel House partners include Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, Cribs for Kids and Bright Blessings, according to the website.

Miss North Carolina Teen

Jane Axhoj, a junior at Marvin Ridge High School, is Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2015.

She was crowned on Oct. 11.

“I was so excited,” Axhoj, 16, said. “It was such an amazing experience.”

Axhoj is the daughter of Kris and Rhonda Axhoj of Waxhaw and has two older brothers, Joshua and Tucker.

The teen will spend the next year making appearances, including at Special Olympics events, she said.

“It’s going to be a really exciting year,” Axhoj said.

A Zumba instructor, Axhoj said her goal is to inspire teens to live a healthy lifestyle.

“I want to make a difference in teens’ lives through Zumba and dance,” she said. “It’s a way to exercise in a fun environment.”

Eagle Scout

Monroe resident Chris Moncrief, 16, has earned his Eagle Scout. Moncrief is a member of Troop 97 in Indian Trail and is home-schooled.

Moncrief earned his Eagle Scout rank by creating an audio tour for visitors along the Uwharrie National Recreation Trail, near Albemarle, Asheboro and Monroe. Using information he gathered, Moncrief recorded a series of audio briefs detailing history, cultural references and other facts about the trail.

Working with the U.S. Forest Service, Moncrief installed 24 posts along the trail that are equipped with Quick Response codes. Visitors can scan the codes with their smartphones to access a brief description of the area and the history and legends that surround it, he said. The full tour is also available as a download.

“Everyone seems to be enjoying it so far,” Moncrief said.

Moncrief said the trail piqued his interest after seeing it on a list of potential Eagle projects in the area.

“I like outdoors and technology,” he said. “This combined both of those things.”

Moncrief said the Eagle Scout title will be an accomplishment he will carry with him throughout his life.

“It means a lot to me. Scouting is a big part of my life,” he said. “Helping other people and being a leader is what scouts is all about.”

Military News

Michael T. Bethune